Our floor sees a lot of nursing students. All year long too. No breaks for summer even. I love it when they come arrive in the morning, fresh-faced and excited to be “in the hospital“. I can remember that feeling as well, it wasn’t that long ago that I was one of them. Relatively speaking. I hate it too though, because part of me feels like I need to tame their enthusiasm, like their thirst for experience is a bad thing. I find myself saying in my mind only half-jokingly “Run. Run far away!”
But most of all I love it when I can present a small pearl of slightly jaded cynical nurse wisdom as I did the other morning.
One of them was asking about a patient assignment. In a moment of cruelty I had sent her patient to another floor the previous night to make room for a patient that needed heart monitoring. We were discussing who might be appropriate and I was running through the list of diagnoses on the floor.
“They have pneumonia, that’s a UTI, he’s FOS…”
She looked at me with a quizzical expression, “FOS?”
“Uh,” trying valiantly to find a PC way of putting it then just going for the truth, “Y’know, Full Of Shit.” The last sotto voce.
“Oh.” A disappointed look coming over her face.
“No, really,” I said quickly, “He has a colon full of stool, so he is literally full of s….”
Welcome to nursing. We’re all FOS in one way or another.